Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile died on Tuesday, 14 July 2020 at the age of 24, when she was inadvertently hit by the reversing vehicle of an excited former Air Force Secondary School classmate while trying to greet her.
Here are the things to know about the first female combat helicopter pilot in Nigeria;
Tolulope Arotile biography
Tolulope Arotile was born on 13 December 1995 to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Akintunde Arotile in Kaduna. She hails from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria
She attended Air Force Primary School, Kaduna from 2000 – 2005 and Air Force Secondary School, Kaduna from 2006 – 2011 before she later gained admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna as a member of 64 Regular Course on 22 September 2012.
Tolulope Arotile career
Flying Officer Arotile was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force as a Pilot Officer on 16 September 2017 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the Nigerian Defence Academy.
She was winged as the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force on 15 October 2019, after completing her flying training in South Africa.
She holds a commercial pilot license and also underwent tactical flying training on the Agusta 109 Power Attack Helicopter in Italy. Incidentally, she introduced the newly acquired Agusta 109 Power Attack Helicopter to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, during the induction ceremony at Eagle Square in Abuja on 6 February 2020.
Before her untimely death, Flying Officer Arotile made significant and outstanding contributions to the war against terrorism, armed banditry and other forms of criminality in the Country, flying several combat missions.
Flying Officer Arotile joined the Nigerian Air Force out of a passion for the job. In her words; “I joined the military simply out of a passion for it. Being military personnel has been a long time ambition, the carriage and what it stands for are simply exceptional”.
Cause of Arotile tolulope’s death
Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first-ever female combat helicopter pilot, was killed Tuesday. According to Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, the 24-year old Arotile died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base in Kaduna State. She was hit by the reversing vehicle of an excited former Air Force secondary school classmate while trying to greet her.
Until her death, Flying Officer Arotile, who was commissioned into the NAF in September 2017 as a member of Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, was the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Service.
“During her short but impactful stay in the Service, the late Arotile contributed significantly to the efforts to rid the North Central States of armed bandits and other criminal elements by flying several combat missions under Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, Niger State.
Gone too soon like a candle in the wind, she will be greatly missed by the entire Nigerian Air Force ,family and friends.